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Policy settings do not apply for software installation, scripts, or folder redirection

Updated: March 2, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Group Policy can be applied during startup and logon (synchronous processing) or as a background task after startup or logon has completed (asynchronous processing). Changes received during periodic Group Policy refresh or in response to the gpupdate command are processed asynchronously. On computers running Windows XP, Group Policy settings received during logon are also processed asynchronously by default, so that the logon is completed more quickly. This is also known as "fast boot" logging.

Cause

Software Installation and scripts processing must be applied during startup or logon. Folder Redirection assigned to the user must be applied during logon. By default, Windows XP logs a user on in asynchronous mode (that is, fast boot). Group Policy is then applied in the background after the user is logged on. However, when a new GPO setting for Software Installation, Scripts, or Folder Redirection arrives at a computer running Windows XP, the user has already logged on by the time Group Policy has been evaluated. It is too late to apply the Software Installation setting. In this case a flag is set so that the next time computer is rebooted or the user logs on Group Policy will be evaluated and applied before the startup or logon is completed.

Solution

In situations where you need for users to receive software, implement folder redirection, or run new scripts in a single logon, apply a GPO with the setting Always wait for the network at computer startup and logon to the computer. This setting is located under Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Logon in the Group Policy Object Editor. For this setting to take effect, Group Policy must be refreshed or the computer restarted. To ensure a consistent experience in a mixed desktop environment, consider enabling this setting for all your Windows XP computers.

Table 1 Timing of Synchronous and Asynchronous Processing

By default, how is policy processed on the client? At Startup At Logon At Policy Refresh

Windows 2000

Synchronously

Synchronously

Asynchronously

Windows XP Professional

Asynchronously

Asynchronously

Asynchronously

Windows Server 2003

Synchronously

Synchronously

Asynchronously

noteNote
Servers do not perform asynchronous processing.

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